Community Schools Overview

  • Community schools programming is in place in the Bowie and Jefferson feeder patterns.  Over the course of the next three years, programs will be in place in every feeder pattern.  Community schools serve to create a nurturing and inclusive educational environment that addresses the holistic needs of students and promotes their academic success, well-being, and overall development.  The Community schools program operates on the basis of six key pillars that guide the framework and approach:

    1. Integrated Student Supports: Community schools aim to address the comprehensive needs of students beyond their academic requirements. They provide access to a range of integrated support services, including physical and mental health services, counseling, mentoring, and social-emotional support. These supports are intended to help students overcome barriers to learning and ensure their overall well-being.

    2. Expanded Learning Opportunities: Community schools offer a wide array of extended learning opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom instruction. These may include after-school programs, summer and intercession enrichment activities, tutoring, arts and sports programs. The goal is to provide students with diverse learning experiences that support their holistic development and engage them in meaningful activities outside regular school hours.

    3. Family and Community Engagement: Strong partnerships with families and the local community are vital to the success of community schools. These schools actively involve parents, guardians, and community members in decision-making processes, creating opportunities for their input and participation. Family engagement activities may include parent workshops, adult education courses, family nights, community events, and parent-teacher collaboration. By building trusting relationships and fostering a sense of belonging, community schools are designed to create a supportive educational environment for students. 

    4. Collaborative Leadership and Practices: Community schools embrace a collaborative approach to leadership and decision-making. They bring together school administrators, teachers, support staff, families, community organizations, and other stakeholders to jointly identify needs, set goals, and design strategies for improvement. This collaborative structure allows for shared responsibility and the pooling of resources and expertise, leading to more effective and sustainable solutions.

    5. School-Linked Services and Opportunities: Community schools serve as hubs that bring various community resources and services directly to students and their families. These can include health clinics, dental services, mental health counseling, nutrition programs, parent education, adult literacy classes, job training, and other services. By providing easy access to these services within the school setting, community schools remove barriers and ensure that students and families can readily access the support they need.

    6. Coordinated Systems and Partnerships: Community schools foster strong partnerships and coordination among schools, community organizations, and agencies. They bring together diverse stakeholders to align resources, share information, and coordinate efforts in supporting students and families. This collaborative approach helps streamline services, prevent duplication, and maximize the impact of available resources.